Daniel Geale retained his IBF middleweight title with a fairly routine 12-round decision win over Osumanu Adama this morning in Hobart, Tasmania, and now attention turns to what could be next for the 31-year-old Australian titlist.
He and promoter Gary Shaw have both talked about moving Geale to the United States for a fight ever since he lifted the belt from Sebastian Sylvester in Germany, but thus far his two defenses of the belt have both been at home, in fights that maybe couldn't be classified as "easy," but were definitely fights where he was no doubt expected to win, and did without much hassle either time (Geale beat Eromosele Albert last August).
But the talk of a fight in the States has returned after the win over Adama."A move to the U.S. could be next for me," said Geale.
"My promoter Gary Shaw is eager to get me some big fights with all the champions at middleweight. I have confidence in my ability to unify the titles and become the best middleweight in the world.
"I feel great right now and I'm extremely happy knowing big opportunities await me. My career is headed in the right direction and I'm looking forward to my next fight, whoever it may be. A fight with Jermain Taylor is also intriguing being that we were both Olympians in the 2000 Sydney Games. I'm ready to fight the best out there, including Sergio Martinez."
Taylor (29-4-1, 18 KO) just returned to the sport in December after over two years away, and appears headed for an April fight against Minnesota club fighter Caleb Truax, a matchup which has been met with skepticism by many. No one is really certain what the plans are for Taylor, but Truax after Jessie Nicklow is definitely "taking it slow" from Taylor and promoter Lou DiBella, and it's hard to tell if there are really plans to get him back into contention right now, or if they're still just finding out if there's anything left. Plus, DiBella has a lot of names at 160 -- Sergio Martinez, Matthew Macklin, Andy Lee -- and adding Taylor to that mix eventually gives him some room to wheel and deal with those four guys. Even though DiBella and Shaw fairly frequently work together, it's probably going to be tough to make Geale vs Taylor this year; or, who knows, maybe that's a fight DiBella thinks is up Taylor's alley if he looks good again in April.
Most likely would seem to be that Geale will face fellow Aussie Sam Soliman (41-11, 17 KO), a former two-time title challenger at 168 pounds (he lost both times to Anthony Mundine) who has moved back to 160 and recently won a regional IBF belt by defeating Garth Wood, after defeating Albert for the #2 spot in the IBF's rankings, a fight that made all the sense in the world since Albert is so good and definitely deserved another immediate crack at a title shot after losing clearly to Geale in a fight that wasn't really exciting or anything.
Soliman, 38, is still a respectable fighter and a guy easy to root for, and surely the fight would do nice business in Australia, but it's not exactly what boxing fans outside of Geale's home country are hoping to see from the titlist.
"Sky is the limit for Daniel," said Shaw. "Right now the goal is to bring Geale to the U.S. for a big fight on network television. He's earned the right to fight any of the current champions at middleweight. Daniel is a fantastic fighter and I see him becoming the undisputed champion at 160. When I get back to the States, I will put everything in motion."
(I know he said "network television," but boxing does not air on "network television" in the States, so he basically just means Showtime, HBO if he fought Sergio or Chavez or Lee/Macklin on an undercard.)